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Health and wellness series – Organic processed food in Italy

November 2018

Executive summary

Organic packaged food and drinks, valued at US$40.4 billion at a global level, still represents a small part of the health and wellness market, but shows growth opportunities based on the evolution of consumers' priorities towards the consumption of natural foods and beverages as well as the increasing interest in social and environmental responsibilities. Both trends will keep driving growth over the forecast period.

The forecast for the organic food market in Italy seems very optimistic. As open food markets are becoming more popular, the packaged food industry is expected to respond quickly with more packaged organic food becoming available in modern grocery retailers.

Organic food remains dynamic in Italy. Retail value sales are continuing to boom as more Italian consumers are willing to pay extra for better quality food. Food origin, safety, and supporting local producers are increasingly important issues for Italian consumers, and this is driving demand for organic products and locally grown produce. The preference for locally produced foods has driven demand for organic produce, farmer's markets and "green" supermarkets.

The main driving factors behind this growth have been product expansion and increasing demand for premium, high-priced products, as well as changing consumer habits towards food. Consumers in Italy have started focusing more on healthy food, prioritising quality over quantity, and preferring to buy less but more premium natural food.

CETA overview

The Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) is a free-trade agreement between Canada and the European Union (EU). It is an attractive and important market for Canadian producers. The EU's 28 member-states consists of 500 million consumers, which will open new benefits as Canadian agri-food exports continue to grow. CETA will offer many more immediate and tangible benefits to the Canadian producer, reducing costly tariffs and streamlining complex technical and administrative barriers to trade. The most visible advantage of CETA for our producers and exporters is the elimination of virtually all tariffs between Canada-EU trades. Overall, the trade agreement should allow the Canadian to further increase its share of the EU market for agricultural products.

Mandatory organic standards and label

The EU organic logo

Italy must follow EU regulations pertaining to organic products. Organic products sold in Italy must display EU's organic farming logo. The distribution of organic products from non-EU countries in the EU market is only permitted when they are produced and controlled under equivalent conditions as those for EU organic producers, for example, the Canada-EU organic equivalency agreement.

Import requirements

Organic products from non-EU countries can be imported into Italy if the exporting country is listed in the directory of recognised third countries or the products have been certified by a control body authorised by the EU Commission as equivalent. Canada is recognized by the European Union as having equivalent organic production rules and control systems (Annex III of Regulation (EC) No. 1235/2008). Exceptions for single products and product categories can occur.

All imported organic products must be accompanied by an electronic certificate of inspection. This certificate can be issued by a control authority or body recognised by the EU or the control authorities or control bodies authorised by a country recognised by the EU as equivalent. The original certificate of inspection must be presented together with the imported organic products to the relevant Member State's authority. Usually it will be the local authority at the port of arrival, in any case the point from which you seek release for free circulation in the Union.

Genetically modified organisms

The use of genetically modified organisms (GMO) and of products manufactured from GMOs is still prohibited in organic production. Products containing GMOs may not be labelled as organic. However in the case of an adventitious or technically unavoidable presence of GMOs, a horizontal Regulation fixes a general labelling threshold under which a product does not have to indicate the presence of GMOs (Regulation (EC) No 1829/2003 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 22 September 2003 on genetically modified food and feed OJ L 268, 18.10.2003). This threshold is fixed at 0,9%. With a presence of GMOs below this threshold, a product may continue to be labelled organic.

Foods may only be marked as "organic" if at least 95% of their agricultural ingredients are organic. Organic ingredients in non-organic food may be listed as organic in the list of ingredients, as long as this ingredient has been produced in accordance with the organic legislation. In order to ensure better transparency, the code number of the control body must be indicated.

Consumer expenditures

Italy's economy began to emerge from recession in 2014 and real GDP growth has since strengthened, reaching 1.5% in 2017. Modest increases in private consumption have supported economic growth and are aiding a gradual recovery. However, although private consumption is picking up, unemployment remains high (11%), thus limiting discretionary spending.

Italy's economic performance continues to affect the expansion of per capita disposable income and spending in the country. The economic record, periodically, showed a sustained decline in the consumption of Italian families. It is a trend confirmed: because of an income decrease, families changed their behaviour as consumers, especially sacrificing protein foods.

However, growth of the Italian consumer market picked up slightly over 2015-2016, supported by monetary stimulus from the European Central Bank (ECB) and low inflation, the years to come are better than the years past (2018-2022). Italy's ageing population, sluggish economic growth, and changes in consumer behaviour will be major factors shaping trends in income and expenditure in the country in the long run.

Historical and forecast, Italian consumers expenditure on food and non-alcoholic beverage, US$ millions – fixed 2017 exchange rates
Category 2013 2017 2018[e] 2022 CAGR* % 2013-2017 CAGR* % 2018-2022
Consumer expenditure on food (total) 2,692.7 2,802.1 2,856.5 3,171.0 1.0 2.6
Consumer expenditure on food 2,489.3 2,585.3 2,635.4 2,926.6 1.0 2.7
Consumer expenditure on bread and cereals 459.5 477.6 488.2 543.3 1.0 2.7
Consumer expenditure on meat 637.5 638.0 649.3 717.6 0.0 2.5
Consumer expenditure on fish and seafood 186.2 209.3 213.4 236.7 3.0 2.6
Consumer expenditure on milk, cheese and eggs 362.4 368.3 375.3 416.4 0.4 2.6
Consumer expenditure on oils and fats 87.6 94.9 96.8 107.2 2.0 2.6
Consumer expenditure on fruit 233.4 248.2 253.0 280.9 1.5 2.6
Consumer expenditure on vegetables 357.3 369.9 376.8 420.3 0.9 2.8
Consumer expenditure on sugar and confectionery 115.1 123.2 125.7 140.5 1.7 2.8
Consumer expenditure on other food 50.2 55.9 57.0 63.7 2.7 2.8
Consumer expenditure on non-alcoholic beverages 203.4 216.9 221.1 244.3 1.6 2.5
Consumer expenditure on coffee, tea and cocoa 73.4 80.2 81.6 89.1 2.2 2.2
Consumer expenditure on mineral waters, soft drinks, fruit and vegetable juices 130.0 136.6 139.5 155.3 1.2 2.7

Source: Euromonitor International, 2018

e: Estimated

*CAGR: Compound annual growth rate

Economic crisis and organic food

The recent economic recession has impacted many industrial sectors in Italy, including the food industry. The organic food industry however, has been growing steadily throughout the economic crisis, registering an impressive CAGR of +8,8% from 2008-2013 and +12.6% from 2013-2017.

Market size

When it come to organic food retail sales, Italy ranks 5th in the world in 2017. The Italian organic food market has grown rapidly over the past few years and the forecast period seems very optimistic (2018-2022).

Organic beverages sales have increased but at much slower rates than organic packaged food, mainly due to the fact that Italian consumers value Italian provenance and are generally willing to pay more for organic food products grown and produced in Italy and less willing to pay premium prices for organic coffee and tea, which are not domestically produced. (Euromonitor International, 2018)

Organic packaged food markets worldwide, retail sales value, top 10 markets, ranked 2017, US$ millions
Country 2013 2017 2018[e] 2022 CAGR* % 2013-2017 CAGR* % 2018-2022
World 27,486.9 40,438.4 43,774.1 58,232.4 8.0 7.4
Organic beverages 3,541.0 5,033.9 5,441.3 7,208.6 7.7 7.3
Organic packaged food 23,945.9 35,404.5 38,332.7 51,023.8 8.1 7.4
United States 11,872.8 16,991.9 18,291.8 23,481.9 7.3 6.4
Organic beverages 1,115.2 1,496.7 1,594.4 1,964.6 6.2 5.4
Organic packaged food 10,757.5 15,495.2 16,697.4 21,517.3 7.4 6.5
Germany 3,550.8 4,210.8 4,371.0 5,020.1 3.4 3.5
Organic beverages 540.6 677.2 712.3 874.2 5.1 5.3
Organic packaged food 3,010.2 3,533.5 3,658.8 4,145.9 3.0 3.2
France 1,940.4 3,093.1 3,411.4 4,673.0 10.2 8.2
Organic beverages 299.9 491.0 533.3 684.7 9.8 6.4
Organic packaged food 1,640.5 2,602.1 2,878.1 3,988.3 10.2 8.5
China 780.5 2,839.2 3,385.1 6,223.2 25.6 16.4
Organic beverages 14.9 42.6 50.4 84.2 22.5 13.7
Organic packaged food 765.6 2,796.6 3,334.6 6,139.0 25.7 16.5
Italy 1,007.2 1,756.6 1,946.6 2,834.0 12.6 9.8
Organic beverages 86.0 119.6 126.5 147.4 7.8 3.9
Organic packaged food 921.2 1,637.0 1,820.1 2,686.7 13.0 10.2
United Kingdom 1,395.9 1,558.4 1,636.9 1,889.0 2.2 3.6
Organic beverages 213.3 232.0 244.4 273.2 2.0 2.8
Organic packaged food 1,182.6 1,326.3 1,392.4 1,615.8 2.3 3.8
Canada 952.0 1,310.5 1,412.1 1,914.3 7.1 7.9
Organic beverages 289.1 435.4 481.3 675.5 8.9 8.8
Organic packaged food 662.9 875.2 930.8 1,238.9 6.2 7.4
Sweden 507.6 892.9 959.9 1,219.2 13.1 6.2
Organic beverages 64.4 165.0 193.7 280.0 26.9 9.6
Organic packaged food 443.2 727.9 766.3 939.2 10.8 5.2
Netherlands 564.1 835.4 892.5 1,086.5 7.6 5.0
Organic beverages 105.2 158.6 169.5 213.5 8.0 5.9
Organic packaged food 458.9 676.9 722.9 873.0 7.5 4.8
Denmark 589.2 792.6 854.7 1,115.8 6.8 6.9
Organic beverages 72.6 139.5 162.8 276.7 17.2 14.2
Organic packaged food 516.6 653.1 691.8 839.1 5.1 4.9

Source: Euromonitor International, 2018

e: Estimated

*CAGR: Compound annual growth rate

Organic food trends

The main driving factors behind organic food and beverage retail sales have been product expansion and increasing demand for premium, high-priced products, as well as changing consumer habits towards food. Consumers in Italy have started focusing more on healthy food, prioritising quality over quantity, and preferring to buy less but more premium and natural food.

Italians increasingly choose to purchase organic goods because they consider such goods to offer better value for money than non-organic alternatives. Another reason behind the growing demand for organic products is that Italian consumers want to get closer to producers, and since it is believed that organic products are more natural, sales have increased accordingly, especially for organic food that is produced in the country and labelled 'Made in Italy'.

Health and wellness

The continued growth within the organic foods sector is linked to the growing interest by Italian consumers for their wellness, fitness and health in general as well as their growing preoccupation with regard to environmental issues in general. Italian consumers have been opting for naturally healthy packaged foods and beverages or organic, which are perceived as offering essential natural nourishment, without the higher unit prices and artificial ingredients associated with fortified or functional and better for you products.

Also, there is a growing number of Italian consumers viewing better for you packaged food as being unnecessarily processed. The growing prevalence of food intolerances is also contributing to strong growth regarding gluten-free foods.

Historical and forecast, health and wellness package food and beverages in Italy, retails sales – US $ millions 2013-2022
Category 2013 2017 2018[e] 2022 CAGR* % 2013-2017 CAGR* % 2018-2022
Health and wellness by type 14,653.3 16,306.8 16,865.0 20,012.0 2.7 4.4
Better for you (BFY) 3,622.2 3,117.7 3,052.4 2,971.5 −3.7 −0.7
BFY beverages 678.0 641.8 636.2 635.8 −1.4 0.0
BFY packaged food 2,944.3 2,475.8 2,416.2 2,335.7 −4.2 −0.8
Fortified/functional (FF) 3,226.3 3,130.1 3,156.1 3,377.6 −0.8 1.7
FF beverages 602.2 631.1 643.6 696.0 1.2 2.0
FF packaged food 2,624.1 2,499.0 2,512.4 2,681.5 −1.2 1.6
Naturally healthy (NH) 5,697.9 6,534.8 6,718.7 7,751.7 3.5 3.6
NH beverages 2,710.3 3,059.7 3,117.8 3,428.3 3.1 2.4
NH packaged food 2,987.6 3,475.1 3,600.8 4,323.4 3.9 4.7
Organic 1,092.8 1,756.6 1,946.6 2,834.0 12.6 9.8
Organic beverages 88.7 119.6 126.5 147.4 7.8 3.9
Organic packaged food 1,004.1 1,637.0 1,820.1 2,686.7 13.0 10.2

Source: Euromonitor International

e: Estimated

*CAGR: Compound annual growth rate

Diet

Additionally, an increasing number of Italian consumers have been choosing alternative dietary styles, ranging from the various shades of veganism and vegetarianism to omnivore diets that exclusively include or at least favour organic products (often referred to as flexitarians). Italians consider organic products to be sustainable and environmentally friendly which fit their values.

According to the European Vegetarian Union, Italy has over six million vegetarians and the highest rate of vegetarianism in the EU, at 10% of the population. Thus, this type of consumer is prepared to spend more money on organic fruit and vegetables. In fact, according to Anabio (the Italian association that represents farmers of organic products), consumers are willing to pay up to15% more for a given organic product. This trend is less visible in packaged food, but is growing quickly from a low base.

Made in Italy

During the financial crisis, consumers supported in large numbers domestic companies, especially small manufacturers and independent retailers, feeling that they were supporting the local economy in this way. As a result, farmers' markets became very popular; in 2015, Italian consumers started to increasingly visit street stalls in order to buy fresh products, such as vegetables, fruit, meat and fish.

Hence there has been a multiplication of farmers' markets, buyers' collectives (what in Italy are known as GAS, gruppi di acquisto solidale, groups of solidarity-oriented buying) and direct sales to consumers by agricultural firms. Many cities in Italy now organise 'mercato del contadino' (markets where fresh food is sold directly by the producer to the consumer). On the Spesa dal Contadino website (in Italian only), consumers can look for the location of such markets and they can also filter for organic markets only.

Historical, Organic fresh foods market in Italy, retail value et US$ millions – fixed 2017 exchange rates
Organic food[1] 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 CAGR* % 2013-2017
Organic fresh foods (total) 2,392.4 2,572.5 2,698.8 2,961.8 3,526.5 10.2
Organic eggs 339.2 365.0 383.6 415.7 420.2 5.5
Organic fish and seafood 36.2 42.5 38.7 39.2 35.5 −0.5
Organic fruits 1,031.0 1,056.5 1,081.3 1,158.9 1,550.1 10.7
Organic meat 334.9 393.9 440.7 472.9 544.7 12.9
Organic nuts 81.6 101.4 110.4 119.8 123.8 11.0
Organic pulses 65.1 79.2 84.2 96.0 109.4 13.9
Organic starchy roots 16.6 19.2 24.5 33.1 34.3 19.9
Organic vegetables 487.8 514.9 535.4 626.2 708.5 9.8

Source: Euromonitor International, 2018

1. For organic products to be included, the organic aspect needs to form a significant part of the overall positioning/ product. "Certified Organic" means the item has been grown according to strict uniform standards that are verified by independent state or private organisations. These standards can differ from country.

*CAGR: Compound annual growth rate

Organic beverage

Organic beverages are expected to continue to profit from persisting Italian consumer demand for healthier products over the forecast period. Organic beverages sales growth will still be slower than that of organic packaged food, but it will continue to grow as consumers increasingly opt for quality over quantity when purchasing coffee, tea, chocolate-based powdered drinks and fruit/vegetable juice. Organic beverages current retail value sales increase by a CAGR of 7.8% from 2013 to 2017, to reach US$ 119.6 million in 2017.

Historical and forecast organic beverage by subsector, retail value, US$ millions
Category 2013 2017 2018[e] 2022 CAGR* % 2013-2017 CAGR* % 2018-2022
Organic beverages (total) 88.7 119.6 126.5 147.4 7.8 3.9
Organic hot drinks 43.6 57.4 60.6 70.9 7.1 4.0
Organic coffee 15.7 19.5 20.8 24.8 5.6 4.5
Organic fresh coffee 14.4 18.1 19.4 23.4 5.9 4.8
Organic instant coffee 1.3 1.4 1.4 1.5 1.9 1.7
Organic tea 26.5 36.5 38.4 44.7 8.3 3.9
Organic black tea 14.5 15.7 16.4 18.5 2.0 3.1
Organic fruit/herbal tea 11.0 19.4 20.6 24.6 15.2 4.5
Organic green tea 1.1 1.3 1.4 1.6 4.3 3.4
Organic other hot drinks 1.4 1.5 1.5 1.4 1.7 −1.7
Organic chocolate-based: flavoured powder drinks 0.1 0.1 0.1 0.1 0.0 0.0
Organic plant-based and malt-based hot drinks 1.3 1.3 1.3 1.3 0.0 0.0
Organic fruit/vegetable juice 45.1 62.2 65.9 76.4 8.4 3.8
Organic 100% juice 13.8 20.3 21.5 24.3 10.1 3.1
Organic nectars (25-99% juice) 31.3 42.0 44.4 52.1 7.6 4.1

Source: Euromonitor International

e: Estimated

*CAGR: Compound annual growth rate

Companies and brands

While demand for organic beverages is expected to remain strong, the fact that private label accounted for over a third of value sales within organic beverages in 2017 is predicted to influence unit price development over the forecast period. Private label ranges account for around one third of organic beverages sales, with Ecor NaturaSì leading sales and Coop Italia ranking third in 2017. Both players' products profit from strong consumer trust in their high-quality private label lines, which are offered at lower prices compared to branded producers.

Market share of top three largest companies of organic beverage, by category in Italy, 2013-2017, % breakdown
Category Top 3 companies 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 CAGR* % 2013-2017
Organic beverages (total) Ecor NaturaSì SpA 12.0 11.4 11.0 10.3 10.6 −3
East West Tea Co LLC 4.2 8.0 8.5 8.9 8.9 21
Almaverde Bio Italia Srl, Società Consortile 7.5 7.4 7.2 6.3 6.4 −4
Organic coffee Consorzio Ctm Altromercato 28.7 28.5 26.9 25.9 25.5 −3
Pellini Caffé SpA 23.5 23.1 21.8 22.1 22.6 −1
Ecor NaturaSì SpA 7.9 7.9 8.2 8.6 9.1 4
Organic tea East West Tea Co LLC 14.2 24.4 26.2 28.9 29.1 20
Ecor NaturaSì SpA 24.8 21.5 20.4 20.5 21.1 −4
Consorzio Ctm Altromercato 7.1 6.3 6.2 6.1 6.2 −3
Organic other hot drinks AltroMercato Società Cooperativa 39.8 41.5 41.4 41.4 41.6 1
Crastan SpA 34.3 35.3 35.1 35.5 35.9 1
Private Label 19.5 19.6 19.5 19.0 18.8 −1
Organic fruit/vegetable juice Almaverde Bio Italia Srl, Società Consortile 14.8 15.1 14.7 12.3 12.3 −5
Conserve Italia - Consorzio Cooperative Conserve Italia scarl 7.6 7.5 7.3 6.2 6.9 −2
Ecor NaturaSì SpA 6.2 6.3 6.2 5.1 5.1 −5
Organic 100% juice Conserve Italia - Consorzio Cooperative Conserve Italia scarl 25.0 24.4 21.4 19.2 19.1 −7
Almaverde Bio Italia Srl, Società Consortile 14.1 13.6 12.1 11.0 11.0 −6
Zuegg SpA 11.6 11.5 10.2 9.2 9.2 −6
Organic nectars (25-99% juice) Almaverde Bio Italia Srl, Società Consortile 15.1 15.7 16.1 12.9 12.9 −4
Ecor NaturaSì SpA 9.0 9.1 9.4 7.5 7.6 −4
Alce Nero, Gruppo 8.8 8.9 8.9 7.1 7.2 −5

Source: Euromonitor International

*CAGR: Compound annual growth rate

Market share of top three largest brands and their affiliated company of organic beverage, by category in Italy, 2013-2017, % breakdown
Category Brand name Company name 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 CAGR* % 2013-2017
Organic beverages (total) Yogi Tea East West Tea Co LLC 4.2 8.0 8.5 8.9 8.9 20.7
Almaverde Bio Almaverde Bio Italia Srl, Società Consortile 7.5 7.4 7.2 6.3 6.4 −3.9
AltroMercato Bio Consorzio Ctm Altromercato 7.2 6.9 6.7 6.1 6.0 −4.5
Organic hot drinks Yogi Tea East West Tea Co LLC 8.6 15.6 16.6 18.5 18.5 21.1
AltroMercato Bio Consorzio Ctm Altromercato 14.6 13.5 13.0 12.6 12.6 −3.6
NaturaSi Ecor NaturaSì SpA 11.0 10.0 9.6 9.6 9.7 −3.1
Organic coffee AltroMercato Bio Consorzio Ctm Altromercato 28.7 28.5 26.9 25.9 25.5 −2.9
Pellini Pellini Caffé SpA 23.5 23.1 21.8 22.1 22.6 −1.0
Ecor Ecor NaturaSì SpA 7.9 7.9 8.2 8.6 9.1 3.6
Organic tea Yogi Tea East West Tea Co LLC 14.2 24.4 26.2 28.9 29.1 19.6
NaturaSi Ecor NaturaSì SpA 18.0 15.7 15.2 15.0 15.3 −4.0
AltroMercato Bio Consorzio Ctm Altromercato 7.1 6.3 6.2 6.1 6.2 −3.3
Organic other hot drinks Altromercato AltroMercato Società Cooperativa 39.8 41.5 41.4 41.4 41.6 1.1
Crastan Crastan SpA 34.3 35.3 35.1 35.5 35.9 1.1
Private label Private Label 19.5 19.6 19.5 19.0 18.8 −0.9
Organic fruit/vegetable juice Almaverde Bio Almaverde Bio Italia Srl, Società Consortile 14.8 15.1 14.7 12.3 12.3 −4.5
Valfrutta Conserve Italia - Consorzio Cooperative Conserve Italia scarl 7.6 7.5 7.3 6.2 6.9 −2.4
Ecor Ecor NaturaSì SpA 6.2 6.3 6.2 5.1 5.1 −4.8
Organic 100% juice Valfrutta Conserve Italia - Consorzio Cooperative Conserve Italia scarl 25.0 24.4 21.4 19.2 19.1 −6.5
Almaverde Bio Almaverde Bio Italia Srl, Società Consortile 14.1 13.6 12.1 11.0 11.0 −6.0
Skipper Zuegg SpA 11.6 11.5 10.2 9.2 9.2 −5.6
Organic nectars (25-99% juice) Almaverde Bio Almaverde Bio Italia Srl, Società Consortile 15.1 15.7 16.1 12.9 12.9 −3.9
Ecor Ecor NaturaSì SpA 9.0 9.1 9.4 7.5 7.6 −4.1
Alce Nero Alce Nero, Gruppo 8.8 8.9 8.9 7.1 7.2 −4.9

Source: Euromonitor International

*CAGR: Compound annual growth rate

Packaged food

Organic packaged food sales are projected to post strong growth in coming years as Italian consumers increasingly demand for natural food products. From 2013 to 2017, organic packaged food records current value growth of 13% to reach sales of US$ 1.6 billion. Over the forecast period organic packaged food set to post a CAGR of 10.2%.

Oppositely, sales of regular pasta suffered from 2013-2017 stagnated, with value sales at a CAGR of 1%, while organic pasta saw value sales rise at a CAGR of 29.7% over the same period. Other categories that experienced strong growth were organic rice, organic honey and organic cheese.

Milk quotas in the EU ended in 2015. This has opened the door to milk originating from other countries under less stringent production restrictions, and consumers are more likely to choose organic milk as it is considered a safer option, especially in Italy where organic milk production capacity is high. However, milk used in certified organic yogurt preparation is from organic farms, where animals are raised according to criteria very similar to the natural state. Organic margarine and spreads registers the strongest current value growth of 45%

Historical and forecast organic package food by subsectors, retail value, US$ millions
Categories 2013 2017 2018[e] 2022 CAGR* % 2013-2017 CAGR* % 2018-2022
Organic packaged food (total) 1,004.1 1,637.0 1,820.1 2,686.7 13.0 10.2
Organic baby food 30.5 35.1 36.7 45.6 3.6 5.6
Organic milk formula 5.3 6.3 6.7 8.6 4.4 6.4
Organic dried baby food 1.1 1.8 2.0 2.8 13.1 8.8
Organic prepared baby food 12.9 14.6 15.2 18.5 3.1 5.0
Organic other baby food 11.2 12.4 12.9 15.7 2.6 5.0
Organic bread 15.8 17.8 18.5 21.6 3.0 3.9
Organic breakfast cereals 3.6 4.1 4.3 5.0 3.3 3.8
Organic confectionery 21.1 22.8 23.5 27.7 2.0 4.2
Organic dairy 366.7 565.3 614.2 840.8 11.4 8.2
Organic butter 30.2 32.3 32.7 36.0 1.7 2.4
Organic cheese 72.3 117.5 128.7 171.8 12.9 7.5
Organic cream 1.6 1.7 1.7 2.0 1.5 4.1
Organic margarine and spreads 0.8 6.7 9.4 31.0 70.1 34.8
Organic milk 223.5 351.0 380.0 515.6 11.9 7.9
Organic soy drinks 1.5 2.1 6.0 N/C 30.0
Organic dairy-based yoghurt 38.3 54.6 59.5 78.4 9.3 7.1
Organic edible oil 84.8 98.9 102.7 121.1 3.9 4.2
Organic ready meals 19.8 27.7 29.2 36.3 8.8 5.6
Organic rice, pasta and noodles 157.7 439.6 531.2 1,006.8 29.2 17.3
Organic rice 7.1 13.8 15.4 22.4 18.1 9.8
Organic pasta 150.6 425.8 515.8 984.4 29.7 17.5
Organic sauces, dressings and condiments 26.2 31.5 32.6 37.1 4.7 3.3
Organic nuts, seeds and trail mixes (snacks) 79.7 103.7 109.0 132.7 6.8 5.0
Organic shelf stable meat, seafood, fruit and vegetables 40.0 72.1 82.5 109.1 15.9 7.2
Organic soup 5.2 6.4 6.9 9.6 5.3 8.6
Organic spreads 108.5 146.1 157.2 197.1 7.7 5.8
Organic spreads excluding honey 83.2 111.0 120.1 150.9 7.5 5.9
Organic honey 25.2 35.1 37.1 46.2 8.6 5.6
Organic sweet biscuits, snack bars and fruit snacks 44.5 65.8 71.5 96.1 10.3 7.7
Organic fruit snacks 11.1 14.6 15.6 20.3 7.1 6.8
Organic sweet biscuits 33.4 51.2 55.9 75.7 11.3 7.9

Source: Euromonitor International

e: Estimated

*CAGR: Compound annual growth rate

N/C: Not calculable

Companies and brands

Italian companies dominate the market, but some foreign companies have carved out small market shares.

Market share of top three largest companies or organic packaged food, by category in Italy, 2013-2017, % breakdown (Part 1)
Category Company 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 CAGR* % 2013-2017
Organic packaged food Granlatte Societá Cooperativa Agricola arl 13.3 13.4 13.2 13.0 12.9 −0.8
Rigoni di Asiago Srl 7.5 6.8 6.3 5.9 5.6 −7.0
Idea Team Srl 4.1 3.8 3.6 4.3 4.2 0.6
Organic baby food Hipp GmbH & Co Vertrieb KG 26.0 25.8 24.5 22.9 22.0 −4.1
Danone, Groupe 20.8 20.6 20.3 20.0 19.7 −1.3
Alce Nero, Gruppo 0.4 0.7 1.0 1.2 1.3 34.3
Organic bread Idea Team Srl 17.3 17.1 17.0 27.1 26.4 11.1
Ecor NaturaSì SpA 12.1 12.1 12.0 11.8 11.6 −1.0
Alce Nero, Gruppo 5.9 5.9 7.8 8.5 8.9 10.8
Organic breakfast cereals Ecor NaturaSì SpA 48.6 48.6 48.6 48.4 48.0 −0.3
Idea Team Srl 26.7 26.6 26.5 26.4 26.2 −0.5
Molino Nicoli SpA 11.2 11.5 11.8 11.9 12.0 1.7
Organic confectionery Ecor NaturaSì SpA 20.0 20.4 20.6 20.9 21.2 1.5
Ctm Altromercato Soc Coop 14.7 15.5 15.4 15.3 15.3 1.0
Rapunzel Naturkost GmbH 4.3 4.3 4.2 4.2 4.2 −0.6
Organic dairy Granlatte Societá Cooperativa Agricola arl 36.4 37.1 37.0 36.9 37.2 0.5
Cooperativa Latteria Vipiteno Società Agricola 3.3 3.2 3.1 3.0 2.8 −4.0
Andros SAS 14.0 8.4 4.9 1.3 1.3 −44.8
Organic edible oil Ki group SpA 5.5 5.5 5.7 4.4 4.4 −5.4
Deoleo SA 2.0 2.0 2.2 2.2 2.2 2.4
Monini SpA 1.6 1.6 1.8 1.8 1.9 4.4

Source: Euromonitor International

*CAGR: Compound annual growth rate

Market share of top three largest companies or organic packaged food, by category in Italy, 2013-2017, % breakdown (Part 2)
Category Company 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 CAGR* % 2013-2017
Organic ready meals Ecor NaturaSì SpA 25.1 25.3 26.6 28.7 30.2 4.7
Isalpa Srl 12.3 13.4 13.7 13.9 14.2 3.7
Almaverde Bio Italia Srl, Società Consortile 9.9 11.4 11.7 12.9 14.2 9.4
Organic rice, pasta and noodles Idea Team Srl 18.7 14.1 12.2 10.9 9.6 −15.4
Ecor NaturaSì SpA 9.0 6.9 6.2 5.6 5.0 −13.7
Flli De Cecco di Filippo Fara San Martino SpA 0.3 0.6 0.8 0.8 N/C
Organic sauces, dressings and condiments Dialcos SpA 29.0 29.7 30.1 30.3 30.7 1.4
Alce Nero, Gruppo 26.1 25.7 24.9 25.1 26.0 −0.1
Ecor NaturaSì SpA 7.4 7.4 7.4 7.5 7.6 0.7
Organic soup Orogel Surgelati SpA 28.8 28.9 28.9 28.8 28.8 0.0
Almaverde Bio Italia Srl, Società Consortile 6.9 7.2 7.3 7.6 7.8 3.1
Azienda Agricola Buonamici Srl 2.4 2.3 2.2 2.2 2.2 −2.2
Organic spreads Rigoni di Asiago Srl 69.7 68.0 65.7 64.2 62.7 −2.6
Alce Nero, Gruppo 10.1 9.8 10.1 10.5 10.9 1.9
Ponti SpA 8.5 8.3 8.1 8.1 8.1 −1.2
Organic sweet biscuits, snack bars and fruit snacks Idea Team Srl 17.3 16.1 15.2 25.8 24.7 9.3
Noberasco SpA 9.6 9.1 8.9 8.9 9.2 −1.1
Ecor NaturaSì SpA 8.4 8.0 7.9 7.8 7.9 −1.5

Source: Euromonitor International

*CAGR: Compound annual growth rate

N/C: Not calculable

Market share of top three largest brands and their affiliated company for organic beverage, by category in Italy, 2013-2017, % breakdown (Part 1)
Category Brand Name Company Name (GBO) 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 CAGR* % 2013-2017
Organic packaged food Granarolo Granlatte Societá Cooperativa Agricola arl 13.3 13.4 13.2 13.0 12.9 −0.8
Fiordifrutta Rigoni di Asiago Srl 6.0 5.4 5.0 4.7 4.4 −7.5
La Finestra sul cielo Idea Team Srl 4.1 3.8 3.6 3.5 3.4 −4.6
Organic baby food Hipp Hipp GmbH & Co Vertrieb KG 26.0 25.8 24.5 22.9 22.0 −4.1
Milupa Danone, Groupe 20.8 20.6 20.3 20.0 19.7 −1.3
Alce Nero Alce Nero, Gruppo 0.4 0.7 1.0 1.2 1.3 34.3
Organic bread La Finestra sul cielo Idea Team Srl 17.3 17.1 17.0 16.5 16.1 −1.8
Baule Volante Ecor NaturaSì SpA 12.1 12.1 12.0 11.8 11.6 −1.0
Ki group Idea Team Srl 10.5 10.3 N/C
Organic breakfast cereals Baule Volante Ecor NaturaSì SpA 48.6 48.6 48.6 48.4 48.0 −0.3
La Finestra sul cielo Idea Team Srl 26.7 26.6 26.5 26.4 26.2 −0.5
Molino Nicoli Molino Nicoli SpA 11.2 11.5 11.8 11.9 12.0 1.7
Organic confectionery Baule Volante Ecor NaturaSì SpA 20.0 20.4 20.6 20.9 21.2 1.5
Altromercato Ctm Altromercato Soc Coop 14.7 15.5 15.4 15.3 15.3 1.0
Rapunzel Rapunzel Naturkost GmbH 4.3 4.3 4.2 4.2 4.2 −0.6

Source: Euromonitor International

*CAGR: Compound annual growth rate

N/C: Not calculable

Market share of top three largest brands and their affiliated company for organic beverage, by category in Italy, 2013-2017, % breakdown (Part 2)
Category Brand Name Company Name (GBO) 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 CAGR* % 2013-2017
Organic dairy Granarolo Granlatte Societá Cooperativa Agricola arl 36.4 37.1 37.0 36.9 37.2 0.5
Linea Biologica Cooperativa Latteria Vipiteno Società Agricola 2.0 2.0 2.0 2.0 1.8 −2.6
Fattoria Scaldasole Andros SAS 14.0 8.4 4.9 1.3 1.3 −44.8
Organic edible oil Crudigno Ki group SpA 4.3 4.3 4.3 4.4 4.4 0.6
Carapelli Deoleo SA 2.0 2.0 2.2 2.2 2.2 2.4
Monini Monini SpA 1.6 1.6 1.8 1.8 1.9 4.4
Organic ready meals Ecor Ecor NaturaSì SpA 16.7 17.5 18.5 19.8 20.7 5.5
Bionaturae Isalpa Srl 12.3 13.4 13.7 13.9 14.2 3.7
Almaverde Bio Almaverde Bio Italia Srl, Società Consortile 9.9 11.4 11.7 12.9 14.2 9.4
Organic rice, pasta and noodles La Finestra sul cielo Idea Team Srl 18.7 14.1 12.2 10.9 9.6 −15.4
Baule Volante Ecor NaturaSì SpA 9.0 6.9 6.2 5.6 5.0 −13.7
De Cecco Flli De Cecco di Filippo Fara San Martino SpA 0.3 0.6 0.8 0.8 N/C
Organic sauces, dressings and condiments Dialbrodo Dialcos SpA 29.0 29.7 30.1 30.3 30.7 1.4
Alce Nero Alce Nero, Gruppo 26.1 25.7 24.9 25.1 26.0 −0.1
Baule Volante Ecor NaturaSì SpA 7.4 7.4 7.4 7.5 7.6 0.7
Organic savoury snacks Noberasco Noberasco SpA 4.7 4.9 5.1 5.3 5.7 4.9
Rapunzel Rapunzel Naturkost GmbH 2.8 3.0 3.2 3.3 3.4 5.0
Besana V Besana SpA 0.5 0.7 0.9 1.2 1.5 31.6
Organic soup Orogel Orogel Surgelati SpA 28.8 28.9 28.9 28.8 28.8 0.0
Almaverde Bio Almaverde Bio Italia Srl, Società Consortile 6.9 7.2 7.3 7.6 7.8 3.1
Buonamici Azienda Agricola Buonamici Srl 2.4 2.3 2.2 2.2 2.2 −2.2
Organic spreads Fiordifrutta Rigoni di Asiago Srl 55.3 53.7 51.8 50.5 49.1 −2.9
Rigoni Rigoni di Asiago Srl 14.4 14.3 13.9 13.7 13.5 −1.6
Alce Nero Alce Nero, Gruppo 10.1 9.8 10.1 10.5 10.9 1.9
Organic sweet biscuits, snack bars and fruit snacks La Finestra sul cielo Idea Team Srl 17.3 16.1 15.2 14.4 13.8 −5.5
Spighe & Spighe Idea Team Srl 10.3 9.8 N/C
Noberasco Noberasco SpA 9.6 9.1 8.9 8.9 9.2 −1.1

Source: Euromonitor International

*CAGR: Compound annual growth rate

N/C: Not calculable

Distribution channel

Distribution of organic beverage and packaged food market in Italy is fragmented and competitive. Health specialist retailers, alongside outdoor markets, have always been among the leading distribution channels for organic goods, with the first offering both packaged and unpackaged products and the latter mainly fresh produce. Most of the organic packages and beverage foods sold in Italy is purchased in traditional grocery retailers, followed by supermarkets, hypermarkets and specialized shops.

Main outlets in Italy, distribution channel of organic packaged food (% of total sales)
Distribution channel 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 CAGR* % 2013-2017
Store-based retailing 97.5 97.3 97.1 96.9 96.8 −0.2
Grocery retailers 94.8 94.4 94.3 94.0 93.8 −0.3
Modern grocery retailers 40.5 41.3 41.6 41.7 41.7 0.7
Discounters 10.8 11.3 11.9 12.1 12.3 3.3
Forecourt retailers 2.7 2.6 2.5 2.5 2.5 −1.9
Hypermarkets 9.8 9.8 9.8 9.4 9.4 −1.0
Supermarkets 17.2 17.5 17.5 17.5 17.6 0.6
Traditional grocery retailers 54.3 53.2 52.6 52.3 52.1 −1.0
Independent small groceries 54.3 53.2 52.6 52.3 52.1 −1.0
Non-grocery specialists 2.7 2.8 2.8 2.9 3.0 2.7
Internet retailing 2.5 2.7 2.9 3.1 3.2 6.4

Source: Euromonitor International

*CAGR: Compound annual growth rate

Main outlets in Italy, distribution channel of organic beverages (% of total sales)
Distribution channel 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 CAGR* % 2013-2017
Store-based retailing 97.8 97.3 97.0 96.8 96.8 −0.3
Grocery retailers 95.1 94.5 94.2 94.0 93.9 −0.3
Modern grocery retailers 86.5 86.6 86.8 86.8 87.0 0.1
Discounters 8.5 8.6 8.7 8.7 8.8 0.9
Forecourt retailers 2.9 2.7 2.5 2.1 2.0 −8.9
Hypermarkets 29.8 29.9 30.0 30.4 30.5 0.6
Supermarkets 45.3 45.5 45.5 45.6 45.7 0.2
Traditional grocery retailers 8.6 7.9 7.4 7.2 7.0 −5.0
Food/drink/tobacco specialists 1.2 1.2 1.2 1.3 1.3 2.0
Independent small groceries 7.3 6.7 6.2 6.0 5.7 −6.0
Non-grocery specialists 2.7 2.8 2.8 2.8 2.9 1.8
Internet retailing 2.2 2.7 3.0 3.2 3.2 9.8

Source: Euromonitor International

*CAGR: Compound annual growth rate

Price

Organic products in Italy have always been more expensive than conventional products due to higher manufacturing costs. The fact that organic production tends to be in the hands of smaller local manufacturers also contributes to higher prices. Given consumers' increasing interest in organic products, large grocery retailers have been investing in their own organic private label lines, and thanks to their large scale production capacity, they have been able to offer lower prices than health specialists and organic stores.

With organic products becoming increasingly ubiquitous across packaged food, the difference in unit price between conventional and organic products is falling. This will be a disadvantage for both health specialists and organic stores, which have built their success on a diverse product offer, but will now have to compete with traditional large grocery retailers offering more competitive prices.

E-commerce

Grocery home delivery sales remain low in 2017 and the it was limited to a few large cities. Over the forecast period online grocery sales are predicted to grow exponentially thanks to the fact that consumers who try the service once are extremely likely to acquire the habit quickly.

For instance, Ecor NaturaSì has achieved strong growth in recent years as higher-income consumers have embraced an organic lifestyle. Besides strong outlet expansion, the company also teamed up with Amazon so consumers could order groceries online for home delivery.

Product launch analysis

In the last five years, 4,122 new organic products were launched Italy. Out of these, 2,093 were actually new organic products on the shelves of Italian grocery stores. Featured products are increasingly being relaunched with new formulas and organic ingredients.

Number of launches in Italy by launch type, from 2015 to 2017
Description of this image follows.
Description of above image
Launch Type 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 Total sample
New product 422 286 307 496 582 2,093
New variety/range extension 188 177 221 299 469 1,354
New packaging 89 74 98 102 128 491
Relaunch 23 18 19 33 63 156
New formulation 4 2 1 2 9 18
Total sample 726 557 646 932 1,251 4,112

Source: Mintel 2018

Over the forecast period, Italian consumers are increasingly willing to spend on high-end organic processed products that promote values such as sustainability, local production, and incorporate organic ingredients. (Euromonitor International, 2018)

Number of launches in Italy by sub-category according to their type of launch, from 2015 to 2017
Description of this image follows.
Description of above image
Sub-category New product New variety/range extension New packaging Relaunch New formulation Total sample
Pasta 143 121 31 11 1 307
Savoury biscuits/crackers 80 95 28 12 1 216
Oils 77 51 38 6 0 172
Vegetables 71 82 10 1 1 165
Nectars 56 62 24 9 2 153
Meat substitutes 74 44 5 13 2 138
Baking ingredients and mixes 51 64 13 1 0 129
Sweet biscuits/cookies 64 46 11 5 1 127
Bread and bread products 45 66 10 4 0 125
Tea 50 52 13 2 0 117
Juice 67 31 15 3 0 116
Confiture and fruit spreads 47 28 16 9 0 100
Plant based drinks (dairy alternatives) 30 30 26 12 1 99
Stuffing, polenta and other side dishes 54 23 8 5 1 91
Cold cereals 36 36 3 1 0 76
Total sample 2,093 1,354 491 156 18 4,112

Source: Mintel, 2018

The Italian organic bakery sector is one of the most innovative sectors in terms of innovation and adaptive to consumer demand and trends. Pasta, breads and biscuits and natural oils are the most popular products. Demand for organic beverages is also increasing.

Number of launches in Italy by sub-category, from 2015 to 2017
Description of this image follows.
Description of above image
Sub-category 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 Total sample
Pasta 52 44 19 80 112 307
Savoury biscuits/crackers 49 40 36 43 48 216
Oils 30 25 18 52 47 172
Vegetables 38 33 20 47 27 165
Nectars 29 18 24 42 40 153
Meat substitutes 17 19 10 37 55 138
Baking ingredients and mixes 17 19 14 29 50 129
Sweet biscuits/cookies 30 15 19 19 44 127
Bread and bread products 23 9 19 27 47 125
Tea 23 9 27 16 42 117
Juice 7 17 33 28 31 116
Confiture and fruit spreads 14 11 12 22 41 100
Plant based drinks (dairy alternatives) 12 20 19 22 26 99
Stuffing, polenta and other side dishes 16 20 8 19 28 91
Cold cereals 11 12 13 14 26 76
Total sample 726 557 646 932 1,251 4,112

Source: Mintel, 2018

Product launches example

Organic Smoked Tofu
Company Yogibio
Brand Bio Mi Gusta
Category Processed fish, meat and egg
Sub-category Meat substitutes
Country Italy
Store name Pam Panorama
Store type Supermarket
Date published December 2017
Launch type New product
Price in local currency €1.99
Price in US dollars 2.37

Bio Mi Gusta Tofu Affumicato (Organic Smoked Tofu) is ready to use and can be consumed with salads, cold with bread or stir fried with vegetables. The vegan product retails in a 100 gram (g) pack featuring the EU Green Leaf and the CCPB (Controllo e Certificazione Prodotti Biologici) logo.

Organic Vegan Christmas Cake
Company Probios
Brand Probios Go Vegan!
Category Bakery
Sub-category Cakes, pastries and sweet goods
Country Italy
Country of manufacture Italy
Import status Not imported
Store name L'Orto Biologico
Store type Specialist retailer
Date published December 2017
Launch type New variety/Range extension
Price in local currency €11.99
Price in US dollars 14.11

Probios Go Vegan! Dolce Natale Biologico Vegan (Organic Vegan Christmas Cake) is made with wheat, sourdough starter and agave syrup, and contains dark chocolate drops. According to the manufacturer, the sourdough used for the leavening process comes from the one used by Bakery Masters in the 1932, resulting in a slower and more complex raising, and a very soft dough. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Organic certified product is free from palm oil, butter and eggs, and retails in a 500g pack featuring the EU Green Leaf logo.

Vanilla Flavoured Yogurt Snack
Company Cooperativa Latteria Vipiteno Soc. Agricola
Brand Sterzing Vipiteno Bio
Category Dairy
Sub-category Spoonable Yogurt
Country Italy
Store name Carrefour Market
Store type Supermarket
Date published December 2017
Launch type New variety/Range extension
Price in local currency €1.29
Price in US dollars 1.52

Sterzing Vipiteno Bio Yogurt Snack alla Vaniglia (Vanilla Flavoured Yogurt Snack) is described as a vanilla flavoured yogurt with crispies with milk chocolate spelt. This organic certified product retails in a 170g pack.

Ladyfinger Biscuits
Company EcorNaturaSì
Brand Ecor I Biscotti
Category Bakery
Sub-category Sweet Biscuits/Cookies
Country Italy
Store name L'Orto Biologico
Store type Specialist Retailer
Date published December 2017
Launch type New variety/Range extension
Price in local currency €2.63
Price in US dollars 3.10

Ecor I Biscotti Savoiardi (Ladyfinger Biscuits) are now available. This organic-certified product retails in a 200g pack, featuring the EU Green Leaf logo.

Organic Sauce with Basil
Company EcorNaturaSì
Brand Ecor dalla Nostra Filiera
Category Sauces and seasonings
Sub-category Pasta sauces
Country Italy
Country of manufacture Italy
Store type Natural/Health food store
Date published December 2017
Launch type New product
Price in local currency €2.20
Price in US dollars 2.59

Ecor dalla Nostra Filiera Sugo al Basilico Biologico (Organic Sauce with Basil) is made with tomato, basil and extra virgin olive oil, and is a 100% Italian. According to the manufacturer, the range of products this sauce belongs to is made in collaboration with organic and biodynamic farmers, and is carefully checked from field to the end of the production process. This sauce retails in a 180g pack featuring the EU Green Leaf and the Demeter logos.

Hibiscus with Pomegranate Aroma Fruit Tea
Company Jan Spider
Brand Gardenolo
Category Hot beverages
Sub-category Tea
Country Italy
Store name Coop
Store type Supermarket
Store address Castel Maggiore 40013
Date published December 2017
Launch type New product
Price in local currency €3.49
Price in US dollars 4.11

Gardenolo Infuso a Base di Karkadé con Melograno e Aroma di Frutta (Hibiscus with Pomegranate Aroma Fruit Tea) is described as an organic tea made to soothe evenings with the finest Mediterranean tones. This product retails in a 50g pack containing 20 × 2.75g tea bags, bearing the EKO and EU Green Leaf logos.

For more information

International Trade Commissioners can provide Canadian industry with on-the-ground expertise regarding market potential, current conditions and local business contacts, and are an excellent point of contact for export advice.

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For additional Information on SIAL Paris 2018, please contact:

Ben Berry, Deputy Director
Trade Show Strategy and Delivery
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
ben.berry@canada.ca

Resources

Health and wellness series – Organic processed food in Italy
Global Analysis Report

Prepared by: François Thériault, Market Analyst

© Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Canada, represented by the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food (2018).

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